What has become known amongst Muff connoisseurs as the "Violet Ram's Head" was a variant of the early 70s V2 Muff that typically had unusual violet graphics rather than the more common red, and a distinctly different set of components to those associated with the more common red Ram (to make matters especially confusing, there are a few red-graphic Rams out there that sport the same or very similar components and sonic qualities as the violet ones - esp. David Gilmour's red Ram). Apparently produced for a period during 1975, it is one of the more rare and desirable Muffs and tend to go for big money.
The 22/7 Violet
Produced from a tracing of an outstanding sounding original pedal of '75 vintage, the 22/7 take features a set of carefully selected NOS 2N5133 transistors and metal film coupling capacitors, just like the real thing. It also features North's usual high build quality and brand-name components (Neutrik jacks/Alpha pots and quality 3PDT footswitch), true bypass switching and a standard 2.1mm 9V DC jack (battery power is also there for the purists). Oh, and that's a superbright blue LED on there.
The fabled "violet sound" falls somewhere between the "regular" Ram's Head and the earlier Triangle, combining the high gain of the former with a touch more mid-range and finesse that's commonly associated with the latter. In short, it has a deserved reputation for being a good all-rounder. Major Muff-head and massive Pink Floyd fan, Kit Rae, reckons that the violet comes closest to David Gilmour's mid-late 70s Ram sound (note: please don't ask me about specific Floyd stuff, my knowledge of them extends only to an old cassette of Relics, and I can only refer you to Mr. Rae's excellent writings on the subject).
Let's plug in and crank this thing. Recorded on '75 Fender Musicmaster, Laney LC15 valve, Line 6 BackTrack.
- some chord playing, with sustain up high and tone around 3'o clock
- some solo notes, sustain up more
- backing off on the sustain and tone a touch for the classic mushy Dinosaur sound
...and for the more Floyd oriented, we've left it to the expert. Here Bjorn Riis of gilmourish.com exercises his considerable chops:
You can also read Bjorn's review of the Violet here.
Again for the Gilmour nuts, here's Violet Ram user Daniele from Milan putting one through its paces. Guitar is a NOS Gilmour Strat, Masotti M1 (think Fender/Hiwatt), Eventide TimeFactor and Strymon El Capistan Delays set to 550ms with a touch of Boss CE-2 on the left channel. Phew. Oh, and the Violet Ram centre-stage, or course. Take it away, Daniele!